Architect(s) : LAAC Architekten | Stiefel & Company Architects
Address : Eduard-Wallnöfer-Platz, INNSBRUCK, Austria
Latitude/Longitude : 47.263545,11.396112
Photographs : Günter Richard Wett
Area : 9000.0 m²
Even though Eduard-Wallnöfer-Platz was the largest but neglected public square in the centre of the city of Innsbruck in Tyrol, Austria, managed to keep a symbolic significance with the four memorials positioned there. A subterranean garage was built in 1985. Before the transformation took place, the square’s atmosphere and spatial appearance was dominated by the facade of the Tyrolean provincial governmental building from the period of National Socialism and by what it seems to be a fascist monumet in a large scale memorial – which in fact and in spite of its visual appearance is a freedom monument that shall commemorate the resistance against, and the liberation from National Socialism. The intervention aims to compensate for existing misconceptions and to reinforce the monument’s historical significance. The new topography of the square offers a contemporary and transformative base for the memorials and makes them accessible – physically and regarding a new perception.
The new topography sets a landscape-like counterpart to the surrounding. But it turns into an urban sculpture through its city context, its finish in concrete and through its function. Accessibility and the layout of paths result from the modulation of the surface which deals with spatial constraints, functional requirements and with morphological considerations.
Pedestrians and users as well as the memorials in their role as protagonists on this new city stage allow for an operative public and open forum between main station and old town. The bright surface of the square functions as a three-dimensional projection field on which the protagonists together with the trees cause a high-contrast dynamic play of light and shadow during daytime. The seasons are displaying powerfully, in front of this background. The scenery at night times is directed by indirect light reflected from the floor sculpture.
A generous multi-purpose event space able to provide the according infrastructure gives the result of the spacious flat area in front of the Landhaus, in the northern part of the square. The expanded field is activated by a large scale fountain that provides cooling-down in summertime. South of the liberation monument the topography features a variety of spatial situations for manifold utilisations. According to the type of geometrical configuration, there are variables of the tetxure of the concrete surface. Beneath many trees the floor continuously merges into seat accommodations with a terrazzo-like polished finish.
The basin of a new fountain where water runs down steps cut into a slope integrates the sculpture group of one of the monuments. The shoal fountain and the water games in front of the Landhaus provide playground for children and cool down the climate in summer locally. There are drinking fountains at different heights for children and adults.
The surface of the square is realised in modulated slabs out of in-situ concrete, joined by bolts that deal with shearing forces. The construction has integrated infrastructural elements for the organisation of events which can take place anywhere on the squareof slab-fields of max. 100 sqm.
At the open joints between the individual fields, the architects located drainage of the whole square including the fountains so that there is no drainage pit visible on the whole site. All the appearing surface wateris allowed to drain away within the property by an innovative buffer system, despite of the existence of a subterranean garage.